It’s a Ball…It’s a Cake…It’s a Cake Ball

Some of the local bakeries have introduced something a little different but I’m not sure it is something that is new.  At a recent visit to the Bleeding Heart Bakery in Chicago, IL I was perusing there display and came a cross these little colorful balls.

These “Cake Balls” are what I consider a decadent treat. The flavors were yellow, chocolate, and even red velvet cake. The colors on the outside ranged from the bright vibrant yellow to a warm toasty light brown to a dusty red, to mention a few.

The real treat comes when you bite into one of these. The cake was sweet, moist, and very full of flavor. Just below the colorful sprinkles was a layer of sweet icing. Just enough to make the flavor pop in your mouth.  WARNING, these things are habit forming.

No Pie Like Apple (Strudel) Pie

Who can resist an apple pie? I know very few people who can say that they don’t like apple pie, but I know there must be a few denied souls out there some where. The Angel Food Bakery makes makes mini pies of various flavors. My recent visit I picked up an Apple Strudel pie.

This is a best of a both world’s for me. If you enjoy the crumble top of an apple crisp, the flaky crust of a fine strudel, and sweet-tart of apple filling then this is a pie you will savor.

The photographs really don’t do this pie justice. Go now, don’t stop, hurry get to the Angel Food Bakery and say “Apple Strudel Pie” please.

No Margerine Allowed on Premises

Traveling along W. Division Street in Chicago, IL there’s a strip of popular eating and drinking establishments that provide a wide range of cuisine. As you approach the western end of the strip one of the last places you will encounter is Letizia’s Natural Bakery. Entering the shop you cannot help but notice the familiar red circle with a diagonal slash across it with the word “margarine” in the middle. Yes this is a baker that takes pride in the fact that they use only natural sweet butter in all of their goods. Now I’m not exactly a butter person, but I can say that it must make a difference in that this place always has people coming and going. What I do appreciate is the distinct flavors you experience from anything you get. This day I decided on a couple of muffins. Initially there was the visual appeal, but as I leaned in a little closer the strong spice coming from the pumpkin-spice muffin closed the deal. Right beside the pumpkin-spice muffin was another favorite; carrot cake. I cannot guarantee that they’ll have either of these flavors when you visit, but if you find your way to Letizia’s I try whatever you find that suits you. You won’t go wrong with anything they have on display.

The Famous “Veruca Salt” Cupcake

Fans of  Willy Wonka or “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” may recall this as name of one of the characters from the story. For those who don’t have a clue, “Veruca” was the spoiled immature brat of a little girl whose rich parents gave her whatever she wants. This extended to the point that her father purchased “Wonka” candy bars by the case loads, and had workers at his factory open each one in search of the “golden ticket” to tour the Wonka factory.

The Bleeding Heart Bakery is doing its part to bring fame to the name “Veruca Salt”. It turns out that this has become one of the more popular cupcake flavors they offer.

Michele Garcia co-owner of Bleeding Heart Bakery has mentioned that when she takes this cupcake off the menu to make room for some other flavors she gets request for it. Since I’ve tried it I have to say to Michele that the “Veruca Salt” cupcake deserves a regular place on the menu.

The Elegance of the Peanut Presented in a Cookie

If you’ve been following this blog you know that I typically cannot pass by a display of cookies without giving it close inspection. In my recent venturing into the Bleeding Heart Bakery (Roscoe Village neighborhood in Chicago location) the first thing that got my attention was the cookies in the display case. The peanut butter cookie was the selection of the day.

Now for those of you not familiar with Bleeding Heart Bakery it’s one of the few organic bakeries in the city of Chicago. If you’re visiting either of their two locations (other location is in Oak Park, IL) you might get the chance to see some actual Food Network Challenge champions. That’s right, Michelle & Vinny Garcia, the owners were  winners on an Extreme Wedding Cake Challenge episode that aired recently.

Did someone say something about cheesecake?

OK, I know it was so cruel of me to mention the cheesecake cupcakes available at Molly’s Cupcakes without posting the photo. So here it is. To be more specific Molly’s Cupcakes will have a specially featured flavor for a limited time. On my visit the flavor was blueberry cheesecake.

When I saw it I knew without asking what flavor it was. The blueberries, graham cracker crust crumble, and cheesecake filling was all in plain view.  My eyes were seeing a cupcake. My mouth was tasting cheesecake.

Very Berry Cupcake

Venturing along the Clark Street corridor in Chicago I found a slightly more sophisticated approach to cupcakes at Molly’s Cupcakes. This is a place that goes to great effort to take some other dessert favorites and package them in the form of a cupcake. On my visit they happened to have a cheesecake cupcake with filling, graham cracker crust, and blueberries.

Now I have to give them a significant score for presentation, and taste with their mixed berry cupcake complete with raspberry blueberry filling.

If you don’t find that they have on hand something to fit you fancy you can even order a custom cupcake.

Sweet with a Little Spice

Recently I had the privilege of tasting something that has ties to Latin culture.  This was a mini cupcake that was chocolate with a touch of cinnamon.  The deep dark color was matched by the rich chocolate flavor.

This as a special treat that I got on a recent visit to the Angel Food Bakery.  Also, if you are a hot chocolate fan you have to be sure to try theirs.